Veteran opener Gautam Gambhir and young Mayank Agarwal helped themselves to half centuries before torrential rain played spoilsport in the Duleep Trophy match between India ‘Blue’ and India ‘Red’ here today.
Only 34.2 overs of play was possible which saw ‘Blue’ team skipper Gambhir (51 batting) and Agarwal (53 batting) put on 105 runs for the opening wicket. The two openers were solid without being flashy as they maintained a decent run-rate of just over 3 runs per over.
The pink ball didn’t do much and the Red bowlers also were not able to take any advantage after their skipper Yuvraj Singh won the toss and elected to field.
Gambhir faced 105 balls, hitting five boundaries in the process, while Agarwal had six fours in his 102-ball knock.
The two ‘Red’ bowlers, who had made an impression in the first game -- speedster Nathu Singh (0/23 in 6 overs) and chinaman Kuldeep Yadav (0/30 in 9 overs) -- failed to make much of a headway as the openers defended well in the initial overs of the first session.
Gambhir started with a cover drive off Nathu Singh and used the pull shot to a good effect whenever Nathu or left-arm seamer Pradeep Sangwan decided to bang it in short.
One such pull shot off Sangwan got him to his half-century. However, he was careful against Kuldeep apart from the cut shot that went past left of the fielder stationed at point. Agarwal, on the other hand, was partial to cover drives as five of his six boundaries were hits through the cover region while the drive that got him to his 50 was hit through long-on region.